Author: Anna V. Petrova
Information about the author:

Ph.D. in Philology, Senior Researcher, Fyodor Dostoevsky Memorial Apartment, Department of the Vladimir Dahl State Museum of the History of Russian Literature, Trubnikovskii per. 17/1, 121069 Moscow, Russia,

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For citation:

Petrova, A.V. “F.M. Dostoevsky, Author of A Writer’s Diary, in the Reactions of 1873-1874 Periodicals (Based on the Materials of the Manuscript Department at the Vladimir Dahl State Museum of the History of Russian Literature)”. Dostoevsky and World Culture. Philological journal, no. 4 (12), 2020, pp. 134-157. (In Russ.)

Received: 05.08.2020
Published: 25.12.2020
Issue: 2020 no. 4 (12)
Department: ARCHIVE
Pages: 134-157
UDK: 821.161.1.0+070
BBK: 83.3 (2Рос=Рус)1-8+76.02
Keywords: A Writer's Diary of 1873, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Vladimir Meshchersky, Anna Dostoevskaya, source studies, Golos newspaper, literary reputation, history of journalism.
Abstract: The article analyses the reaction of the press to the publication of A Writer’s Diary in 1873. It aims to answer the question of why leading daily newspapers such as Golos, Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti, Birzhevye Vedomosti, Novoye Vremya, did not accept and negatively evaluated Dostoevsky’s work as columnist and editor of the Grazhdanin. Dostoevsky returned to the newspaper business with a new genre, and from the very beginning of A Writer's Diary he declares his unlimited freedom of choice about the topics and format of his conversations with the reader. This fact immediately distinguished him from other columnists, who usually followed the standards of the feuilleton (a genre normally dedicated to the latest news), and strictly obeyed their editorial policies, constantly taking into account the publisher’s “wishes”. Columnists from leading newspapers in 1873–1874 could not find similarities between their work and Dostoevsky’s, between his method of describing reality and theirs, and so they neither could nor wanted to see the author’s novelty and originality that went beyond the established newspaper practice, to be surprised by the courage and innovation of his Writer’s Diary. Instead, most of the journalists (Lev Panyutin, Arkady Kovner, Mikhail Wilde and others) chose to be “critical” and – using irony, satirical attacks, sarcastic comments mockingly sought to undermine Dostoevsky’s authority as a columnist and discredit the values that he put above all in A Writer's Diary in 1873 (a “heartfelt” knowledge of Christ, the purification through suffering, the preservation of a relationship with the people). The article attempts to trace the development of this controversy and the factors that influenced its contents.

Acknowledgements: The reported study was funded by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project no. 18-012-90018.



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